Parliamentary update: 23-25 February 2021

Queensland Parliament sat from 23 to 25 February 2021.

Key legislative updates included the introduction of the Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 and the passing of the Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2021.

Bills introduced

The following Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced by Mark Ryan MP, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, on 25 February 2021.

The Bill has been referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee. More information on the committee inquiry is available.

The Bill seeks to amend the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 and the Youth Justice Act 1992.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to:

  • respond to offending behaviours of serious recidivist youth offenders
  • introduce amendments to the relating to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 in relation to:
    • knife-related crime in Safe Night Precincts (SNPs), including providing for a trial of powers for police to stop a person and use a hand-held scanner to scan for knives in SNPs on the Gold Coast; and
    • ‘hooning offences’, including amending the enforcement regime against dangerous hooning behaviour by strengthening existing owner onus deeming provisions for hooning offences.
  • strengthen the youth justice bail framework by:
    • introducing a trial of electronic monitoring devices as a condition of bail for some offenders aged 16 and 17 years old who have committed a prescribed indictable offence and have been previously found guilty of one or more indictable offences (with a review after 12-months)
    • permitting the court or a police officer to take into consideration, when determining whether to grant bail, whether a parent, guardian or other person has indicated willingness to support the young person to comply with their bail conditions, advise of any changes in circumstances that may impact the offender’s ability to comply with the bail conditions, or advise of any breaches of bail
    • creating a presumption against bail for certain young offenders charged with ‘prescribed indictable offences’ and requiring them to ‘show cause’ why bail should be granted
    • clarifying that, although a lack of accommodation and/or family support is a consideration that bail decision-makers can take into account, it cannot be the sole reason for keeping a child in custody.

Read the Bill in full.

See the explanatory notes.

See the statement of compatibility with human rights.

See QLS Proctor’s Spotlight series on the state of youth justice in Queensland for an in-depth look at these issues. More articles will be added to the Spotlight series as the current debate unfolds.

Queensland Law Society has written to the Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs about youth justice in Queensland. Read our correspondence.

Legislation passed

The following Bills were passed by the Legislative Assembly

  • Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2020
  • Appropriation (2020-2021) Bill 2020
  • Appropriation (Parliament) (2020-2021) Bill 2020

Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2020

The Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 3 December 2020 by Yvette D’Ath MP, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, and was passed without amendment on 24 February 2021.

The Bill amends the Justice and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Act 2020, Mental Health Act 2016 and Public Health Act 2005.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the purpose of the Bill is to extend the current legislative response measures implemented by the Public Health and Other Legislation (Public Health Emergency) Amendment Act 2020 for a further six months to support the Queensland Government’s ongoing health response to COVID-19.

The Bill achieves the policy objectives by amending various Acts to ensure that any sunset clauses or expiry provisions relating to the amendments made to Chapter 8 of the Public Health Act 2005 and Chapter 18B of the Mental Health Act 2016 do not take effect until the end of the day on 30 September 2021.

The Act is awaiting royal assent.

Read the Bill as introduced.

See the explanatory notes.

See the statement of compatibility with human rights.

Appropriation (2020-2021) Bill 2020

The Appropriation (2020-2021) Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 1 December 2020 by Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Investment, and was passed without amendment on 24 February 2021.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to:

  • provide appropriation for 2020-21 to fund the cost of delivering departmental services, administered items and equity adjustment in that year, and
  • Supply for 2021-22 to allow normal operations of government to continue until the 2021-22 Appropriation Bill receives assent.

The Act is awaiting royal assent.

Read the Bill as introduced.

See the explanatory notes.

See the statement of compatibility with human rights.

Appropriation (Parliament) (2020-2021) Bill 2021

The Appropriation (Parliament) (2020-2021) Bill 2020 was introduced by Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Investment, on 1 December 2020 and was and was passed without amendment on 24 February 2021.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to:

  • allow for the appropriation for 2020-21 to fund the cost of providing the services, equity adjustment and administered items of the Legislative Assembly and parliament service in that year.
  • supply for 2021-22 to allow the normal operations of the Legislative and parliamentary service to continue until the 2021-22 Appropriations (Parliament) Bill receives assent.

The Act is awaiting royal assent.

Read the Bill as introduced.

See the explanatory notes.

See the statement of compatibility with human rights.

Ministerial statements of interest

Coronavirus update; coronavirus vaccine

The Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, updated the House on the COVID-19 vaccine program in Queensland. The program was in its first week, and it was anticipated that 1000 doses of the vaccine would have been administered by the end of the day on the 25 February 2021.

The Commonwealth is investigating the case of two aged-care residents who were wrongly administered extra doses and has committed to share its findings with Queensland.

Olympic Games, Queensland bid

The Minister for Tourism, industry, Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe MP, announced the possibility of Queensland hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The International Olympic Committee has announced that Queensland has progressed to the targeted dialogue phase.

Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland legislation notified in 2020 is available online.

Subordinate legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 26 November 2020 to 26 February 2021:

Queensland Government Gazette

Read the Queensland Government Gazette, Volume 386, published in February 2021. The Queensland Government Gazettes for 2020 are available online.

Parliamentary sitting dates

The Queensland Parliament is currently scheduled to next sit from 9 to 11 March 2021. The parliamentary calendar for sitting dates has now been published.

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